Savard Happy To Have Petry Back

By JD Lagrange – That Canadiens’ General Manager Kent Hughes managed to trade Mike Hoffman and his $4.5 million contract without having to keep salary is rather shocking. But what shocked the team’s fan base most, from reading on social media, is the fact that he re-acquired once disgruntled veteran defenseman Jeff Petry in that trade.

We have gone over the ramifications of the trade and showed why it’s a good trade by Hughes and the Canadiens, so we won’t rehash here. Whether or not Petry stays, we shall see. But the news didn’t only surprise the fans. The media covering Montreal were just as surprised, and even players were caught by surprise.

David Savard

In an interview with TVA Sport on Monday, David Savard admitted being surprised by Kent Hughes’ most recent trade. 

“We didn’t necessarily expect that”, he acknowledged. “I knew that there were talks about the potential of Mike [Hoffman] leaving this summer, but we didn’t anticipate that Jeff could return.”

Savard, who took a leadership role with some younger Canadiens’ defensemen including Kaiden Guhle, embraces the return of his former teammate with enthusiasm. 

“We are extremely happy to get him back”, said Savard. “He’s a guy who had a more difficult season last year. His family wasn’t always with him. This might or might not change, I don’t know exactly what will happen, or if it’s the end of the trades. We have lost a veteran in Joel Edmundson, so it’s fun to see another older guy who could help the young guys.”

Many fans are making a big deal with the fact that Kent Hughes hasn’t spoken to the media but these folks forget that traditionally, NHL GMs are on vacation in August. Of course, they are always close to their phones and some deals do happen. But I’m not so sure that doing press conferences is at the top of their list when sitting at the summer cottage, enjoying time with family and resting after and for a long, long upcoming season.

Petry may or may not be traded, as is Casey DeSmith, also acquired in this trade. What we do know is that Hughes is on record saying that he is hoping his team will be in the playoffs’ picture.

“We want to push to try to make the playoffs, and if we don’t make the playoffs, that’s fine, as long as along the way we’ve seen a great effort and we’ve seen things progress and we’ve seen our team moving in that direction.” ~ Kent Hughes, June 29, 2023